Many players have faced both Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, but Amar’e Stoudemire is among the few to meet them at their peaks.
The former Suns All-Star was a powerhouse in motion whenever he took the court. There was virtually nothing even the best defenders of his day could do against the Nash-Amar’e pairing. This was by far the most productive pick-and-roll pairing of the 2000s.
Stoudemire has beaten Kobe Bryant in the playoffs at his peak – twice. He’s also faced LeBron James in the playoffs during his time with the Knicks, ending up on the losing side. As such, he’s quite well-positioned to take an informed gander at the Kobe vs LeBron debate.
However, given how great both of these swingmen have been, it is indeed a tough question to answer – especially for the players who’ve encountered both of them. Amar’e didn’t seem to be able to make up his mind.
Amar’e Stoudemire prefers Kobe Bryant over LeBron James by a hair
In a recent interview, Stoudemire initially picked LeBron due to his sheer dominance. But he ultimately leaned toward Kobe in light of his refined skillset and mental approach while on the court:
“Kobe has a different intellect with the game. Well, he talked whenever you talked to him, he was all business and it was, like, strategic. LeBron was probably harder to play against because he was also more explosive.”
“Actually, I take that back, Kobe’s harder to guard because Kobe, there was no weaknesses.”
Amar’e Stoudemire On The Hardest Player To Guard Between Kobe And LeBron: “Kobe’s Harder To… – NBA News https://t.co/S5OwAdVUim
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Kobe Bryant has a case as the ultimate skilled guy in the history of the league. Similarly, LeBron has a great case as the greatest athletic specimen in NBA history. James has been more unstoppable through the course of his career, but Kobe had more tricks up his sleeve.
The question of who to pick between these two players at their prime is a tough one. It will probably come down to game situations for most knowledgeable basketball fans.